Pandora Introduces New Free Premium Trial Session

Emmett Rice
December 16, 2017

Though music services like Spotify and Apple Music tend to garner the most attention in the tech press, it's sometimes easy to forget that Pandora is not only alive and kicking, but still extremely popular. But the company has a somewhat intriguing strategy to give those free users a taste of premium. Previously, Pandora's ad-supported and Plus users could only listen to radio stations based on artists or songs they liked.

This trial of Pandora Premium, if you'd like to call it that, is available to free and Plus users. Listeners of the free radio product who search for a song will be able to watch an ad to "unlock a Pandora Premium listening session", the company said in a Thursday afternoon release, in reference to Pandora's paid on-demand streaming service that launched earlier this year. If a listener is looking for a specific song, artist, or album, they will be given a choice to unlock Pandora Premium by clicking and watching a video advertisement. "What we're excited about is delivering on that need and doing it for ad-supported listeners". Because users can build a music library and make playlists and share things with friends while using the premium preview, Phillips thinks this is an ideal way to slowly introduce people to the benefits of paying for a subscription. No advertisements will play during your listening session, but if you search for something else and leave what you're now jamming out to, you'll need to watch another 15-second ad before proceeding.

For artists, it creates new avenues of promotion by providing fans with direct links to play their music.

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To get access, users will watch a short video ad (Pandora is testing varying lengths of time). "[Labels] want to reach our huge audience, and being able to do that with our ad-supported listeners is a big deal", Phillips said.

Watch a 15-second ad, get on-demand music streaming.

The company is also offering its more standard services, both the on-demand and autoplay options.

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